Hair loss treatment is expensive, if you don’t know what you are buying.

 

In 2017, hair loss products were among the top 40 best-selling products on the online shopping website Taobao, with young consumers making up more than 40% of sales. Even with the hard economic impact COVID-19 has brought about, market analysts have reported a continued sustained growth rate of 3-4% for hair loss products.

 

Here, we discuss the various hair loss treatment options in Singapore, weighing out the costs and effort involved:

 

The Cornerstone Treatment – Topical Minoxidil

 

Topical Minoxidil have been most extensively studied for the treatment of female-pattern baldness. Topical Minoxidil has shown effectiveness and a good safety profile in clinical trials, hence elevating its status as the first-line treatment option for female-pattern baldness. It is also the only treatment option for female-pattern baldness recognized by the FDA.

 

However, response to treatment with Topical Minoxidil varies among women. While some achieve the ideal significant hair regrowth, others may only benefit the most from the slowing of additional hair loss.

 

Continued, diligent use of Topical Minoxidil is necessary for it to work. As soon as it is stopped, hair loss will recur. A common mistake among women is to stop Topical Minoxidil when it does not seem to be effective after only 1-2 months.

 

Topical Minoxidil in Singapore

 

In Singapore, Topical Minoxidil is available over-the-counter, without a prescription as a lotion with concentrations of 2%, 3% or 5% and as a 5% foam. Women who start applying Topical Minoxidil in the early stages of their baldness, and who have smaller areas of baldness, respond best to Topical Minoxidil.

 

In female-pattern hair loss, it was found that there was no difference in effect between Minoxidil 2% and Minoxidil 5%; hence a lower concentration is often recommended in women to minimize the side effects of Minoxidil.

 

Minoxidil 5% foam formulation, unlike Minoxidil lotion, is free of propylene glycol, an ingredient that can potentially irritate the skin. As the most common side effect of Topical Minoxidil is an itchy scalp at the application area, Minoxidil 5% foam formulation may be a good alternative to circumvent side effects experienced with the use of the traditional lotion formulation.

 

Topical Minoxidil found in hair products is to be used as a scalp treatment and not a hair treatment. It should be applied daily to the affected areas on a dry scalp, exactly as prescribed for maximum benefit.

 

Topical Minoxidil must be used twice a day for at least 4 months. Hair shedding may occur at the initiation of treatment and usually decreases within two months. Hair growth may then be seen within 4-8 months and stabilizes at 12-18 months. A full year of treatment is usually recommended.

 

Side effects from Topical Minoxidil are infrequent. The most common side effect experienced is scalp irritation.

 

Oral Minoxidil in Singapore

 

You may find it troublesome to apply a scalp treatment twice a day. There has been some evidence that a low dose of Oral Minoxidil can be safe and effective for the treatment of female-pattern baldness. Your doctor will be able to advise. If you don’t have one, you can book an appointment with Dame’s doctor here.

 

Traditionally, Oral Minoxidil was used as a potent treatment in reducing high blood pressure. It fell out of favour due to the development of safer and more effective blood pressure medications. 

 

Can a doctor prescribe Oral Minoxidil?

 

To date, there is no Oral Minoxidil product registered with the HSA. The recommendation by the FDA is still for Topical Minoxidil in the treatment of female-pattern baldness.

 

Since Oral Minoxidil is not registered with the HSA for use in Singapore, that means that doctors need to apply for a special licence to bring in Oral Minoxidil in Singapore.

 

If you discussed your concerns with our doctors, we might be able to provide a solution tailored to your needs.

 

Minoxidil costs:

 

Minoxidil 2% lotion (one month supply): $35-$60

 

Minoxidil 5% lotion (one-month supply): $70-$90

 

Dame Minoxidil 5% (one-month supply): starts at $52

 

Effort involved to use Minoxidil:

 

Once to twice daily scalp application with Topical Minoxidil. 1 year and beyond

 

Hair Transplant Surgery

 

There are various hair transplant techniques available in Singapore. However, with all hair loss treatments, it may not be a permanent solution. You can continue to lose non-transplanted hairs following hair transplantation, resulting in diminishing satisfaction with the results. The continuation of treatment with Topical Minoxidil following a hair transplant procedure may help to limit further loss of pre-existing scalp hair.

 

Hair transplant costs:

 

One session can range from $2000-$20,000 depending on the number of grafts required and the hair transplant technique applied.

 

Read more about “Best Hair Transplant Solutions in Singapore to get your Confidence back”.

 

Effort involved to undertake hair transplant:

 

A standard hair transplant session normally takes about 5-8 hours. Additional maintenance sessions may be required depending on response to surgery.  

 

Low Level Laser Light Therapy (LLLT)

 

Studies have shown that Low Level Laser Light Therapy with a HairMax LaserComb device is effective in promoting hair regrowth in mild-to-moderate hair loss. It is also the only medical device approved by the FDA for the treatment of male- and female- pattern baldness. However, more studies are still required to determine what the optimal treatment regimen is and how long hair regrowth can be achieved and sustained with LLLT treatment.

 

Costs involved:

 

$650-$1250 per package.

 

Effort involved:

 

Recommended treatment regimes are 90 seconds to 15 minutes of treatment, 3 times a week (depending on the device model used). 1 year and beyond.

 

In the treatment of female-pattern baldness, we’re in for the long-run. Treatment should be a good, sustainable fit money and effort wise for you to enjoy lasting success.

 

Dermatologist

 

A dermatologist is another option if you have serious symptoms that are not typical. For example, if you have hair loss that does not fit the pattern of female pattern hair loss, or sudden hair loss. Read this article to find out when you should go to a dermatologist.

 

Next steps

 

If you have a brief idea of how you’d like to tackle your hair loss, we’d encourage you to book an appointment with us.

 

Dame is a digital women’s health service in Singapore which provides convenient virtual consultations with MOH-licensed doctors, along with affordable hair loss treatments that are shipped to your doorstep discreetly.

 

Dame is powered by The Cloud Clinic, which is a licensed medical clinic registered under MOH and a direct telemedicine provider.

 

Do Korean shampoos help with hair loss? Find out here.

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